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Materials

Piece of cake, cookie, or sugary doughnut Leaves Sticks

Thin strips of paper Watch or clock

Do ants living near you use their sense of sight or their sense

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Journal Notes

After I moved the ants had/had no trouble finding their food.

of smell to find their way? Set a piece of cake, cookie, or sugary doughnut on the ground about five feet away from an active anthill. Place several obstacles like leaves, sticks, and thin strips of paper between the food and the anthill. Record the time in your journal, then find a comfortable place where you can watch what happens.

Once it looks like all the ants are following the same trail, move some of the obstacles around. If their trail takes them over a piece of paper, turn the paper so it faces a different way. Move a stick so a dif ferent part of it is over the trail. Remove leaves or turn them upside down. From the changes you make, can you tell if the ants are using smell or vision as clues on their trails? Record what happens in your journal.

Army ants are blind and must use their sense of smell to get around, while carpenter ants use both sight and smell.There are more than 550 species of ants in North America, so if you look around, you will probably find more than one type of ant living near you. Make a sketch of each ant type in your journal, noting

Journal Notes

Start time:

It took_minutes for the first ant to find the food.

It took_minutes for more ants to bring back others.

I think the ants are using_

to find their way.

its size and color. Repeat your experiment on as many different types of ants as you can find.

Materials

Scissors

index cards Pen

Envelope

Cut the index cards in half so that you have 4 2K-by-3-inch (6.3-by-7.6-cm) cards. Copy the following actions based on insect senses, one to a card. Place all four cards (including the blank one) into the envelope for safekeeping until you are ready to create your Insectigations! game.

• Mmmm. If a roll of the head die shows you have the feathery antennae you need to smell the rotting fruit near the tree, take an extra turn.

• A human has moved your home. If a roll of the head die shows you have bee eyes, go ahead 4 spaces.

• Scientists are testing a new pheromone trap. Roll the head die. If you have short antennae, you can't sense the smell and fly free.All others lose a turn.

So insects can communicate through their sense of smell. Is there any other way for them to talk? Of course there is! Get ready for a buzzy, buggy time!

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